DAVID VANCE, senior member of the firm of Vance & Sons, who are extensively engaged in importing and breeding
draft horses at Chenoa, has had a long experience in this business and has been remarkably successful. He began
dealing in horses in Adams County, Ohio, nearly forty years ago and has become thoroughly acquainted with the habits,
needs and proper care of the noblest of animals. In a State which has become quite noted for its fine horses, Mr.
Vance has for many years occupied a prominent position.
The subject of this biography is a native of Adams Co., Ohio, and was born April 22, 1824. His father, John Vance, a prosperous farmer of that county, reared his son to agricultural pursuits and carefully trained him in all the duties pertaining to that department of business. Our subject received a good common-school education and remained under the home roof until he attained to years of manhood. The parental household included twelve children, of whom David was the youngest. His mother before her marriage was Miss Mary McGovney, of Ohio. Young Vance lived on a farm in Ohio until 1852, then came to this State and settled on a farm in Lawndale Township, near the banks of Mackinaw Creek in this county, where he carried on blacksmithing and farming for thirteen years. The land which he there took possession of was but little removed from its original condition, but he cultivated and improved it, together with four other farms, all of which combined to form the basis of his start in life and laid the foundation for his future prosperity. In due time he disposed of his landed possessions in that locality and is now the owner of a fine estate in Yates Township, which he has mostly devoted to the breeding of stock. He resided upon this until 1881, when he removed to the village of Chenoa, where he erected a fine barn, especially adapted to breeding purposes. It is 32x110 feet in area, two stories in height and fitted up with convenient stalls for fine horses. Among these are the Belgium, Clydesdale, Percheron and Norman breeds, besides a few handsome specimens of Kentucky trotting stock. In connection with this, he also has a finely appointed livery stable, with the best of horses and the handsomest of vehicles. The sons have inherited in a marked degree the talents of their father in this direction and bid fair to follow in his footsteps as successful breeders and dealers.
Mr. Vance was married, Sept. 2, 1845, to Miss Emma Wikoff, the daughter of William and Sarah (McCue) Wikoff, and they became the parents of eight children : Henry B., who married Miss Rena Heflin; Joseph T., who married Miss Jennie McCartney and is in partnership with his father in the stock business; William, who grew to manhood and was married to Miss Mattie St. John, joined the regular army, and was Clerk in the Quartermaster's department in Wyoming Territory, where he died in 1880; Leona married William Holderness, and lives near San Diego, Cal.; Edgar married Miss Nancy Gailbreath, and they live in Republic County, Kan.; Ella and Frank died when young, and Mary is the wife of William Arnold, who is engaged in the livery business in Chenoa. Mrs. Vance has been a member of the Methodist Church since she was a girl. In politics Mr. Vance, his sons and sons-in-law are all stanch Republicans.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 190-191. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.